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Whats more Important...


Goodoleboy58
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Coming into the year the Braves SP's were

Hudson 2.37 ERA 1.17 WHIP

Hanson 4.50 ERA 1.39 WHIP

Jurrjens 5.59 ERA 1.41 WHIP

Lowe 4.53 ERA 1.41 WHIP

KK 4.48 ERA 1.40 WHIP

Medlen 3.15 ERA 1.13 WHIP

with subpar pitching outside of Hudson and Medlen we are having our best start and most exciting team in a few years.... is starting pitching really all that important? granted if it was Glavine, Maddox, and Smoltz and they were all at 2.00 1.10 WHIP the story would be different... however coming into the season I was under the impression that pitching was our strong-suit... blatantly our SP hasn't been great... however we are still 14 games over .500.... so the question is, does good hitting beat good pitching, or vice versa?

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Imagine that rotation last season, but replace Kawakami with this years Tim Hudson... makes you mad doesn't it. That rotation was sick. And I really could have sworn Lowe had a WHIP over 2.00, or it just seems like it to me. A 1-2-3 inning for him is a rarity.

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The reason we are where we are is because of our bullpen and our timely hitting. How many walkoffs have we had? You can't have great walkoffs without a great pen and they last time the Braves had a pen this good was 2002. Remember how great our pen was that year. Smoltz nailing the door at the end but other guys like Mike Remlinger, Chris Hammond and Darren Holmes. Hammond had an 0.95 ERA that year. But we didn't win in the playoffs because we relied too much on homeruns to score and in the playoffs you just don't get that many homeruns because the pitching is too good. You need to be able to string hits together to score in the playoffs and we weren't able to do that the last few years because we were so depended on the homerun. That's not the case this year. We have don't a great job of scoring without homeruns and that will serve us well in the playoffs.

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Pitching is the key. Phils didn't win a WS still they started pitching. We definitely need Tommy to get off his schnide for Jair to pitch like he did on Wednesday. Both of those happens and we could be looking at another red-colored pennant in the Turner Field stands next season.

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The reason we are where we are is because of our bullpen and our timely hitting. How many walkoffs have we had? You can't have great walkoffs without a great pen and they last time the Braves had a pen this good was 2002. Remember how great our pen was that year. Smoltz nailing the door at the end but other guys like Mike Remlinger, Chris Hammond and Darren Holmes. Hammond had an 0.95 ERA that year. But we didn't win in the playoffs because we relied too much on homeruns to score and in the playoffs you just don't get that many homeruns because the pitching is too good. You need to be able to string hits together to score in the playoffs and we weren't able to do that the last few years because we were so depended on the homerun. That's not the case this year. We have don't a great job of scoring without homeruns and that will serve us well in the playoffs.

Couldn't agree much more with this. Our starting pitching, although not great, hasn't been terrible either. Even though they don't eat up many innings (outside of Medlen and Hudson), the bullpen comes in and shuts the door. Combine that with timely hitting (most runs in the MLB after the 6th or 7th inning), and very high OBP, and you have a recipe to win a lot of games. If your starters are very good, like the Marlins, yet your bullpen is terrible, also Marlins, you see where that gets you even though they are a very good hitting team.

In other words, our starting pitching is ok, our bullpen is awesome, and we beat up on opponents' bullpens. We may make a lot of garbage starters look much better than they are, but it seems like once the late innings roll around, we morph into an entirely different offensive team.

Now, there are two things this team still misses from an offensive standpoint: speed and power. It is a thing of beauty that we are doing so well without those two key elements.

So, I would say starting pitching is important...it has to at least be average because they pitch upwards of 2/3 of the game. Your bullpen is very important because they will oftentimes come in with the game fairly close. TIMELY hitting is important because you have to be able to score at least a few runs...and do so when you need them. That's how I see it.

EDIT: But like ATL insinuated, if you want to go far, and not just be good, then your starting pitching has to be at least good. That is why we need Hanson and JJ to revert back to something close to last year's dominance. If they can do that, with a healthier Heyward, this team becomes a VERY dangerous ball club that could go far.

Edited by I Am The Truth
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There's no correct answer to this. It's like asking whether offense or defense is more important in football. You need a good balance of both to be successful.

Agreed.

Also agree about the bullpen comments. Right now we have five relievers with ERA+ over 100 (Wagner, Venters, Moylan, Saito, and O'Flaherty). I haven't checked, but I would be shocked if another NL team could boast the same. I don't know if the bullpen can keep that up, but our rotation, as pointed out, has been pretty average. Right now only Medlen and Hudson have ERA+ over 100. Hanson isn't far off, and I expect him to be well over 100 by the end of the season. If Lowe and Jurrjens can at least approach 100, we'll make the playoffs and approach a 90-win season.

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God how awesome would it be if Jurrjens could come back and go like 10-4, or 9-5 or something in the second half to make up for the fact that Lowe and Kamakaze suck so bad?

I hope Jurrjens and Heyward are big parts of us running away with this division, or at the least being key cogs in a big time battle with the Mets.

It still baffles me how good the Mets are, I don't think anyone saw that coming. I love it though, as I have always hated the Mets more than any team in baseball, including the Phillies, so this second half is going to be a **** of a lot of fun.

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Hanson is young, and pitched better his last start, he's going through an adjustmant period. Jair ERA and WHIP are inflated, because his was terrible, went on the DL and has been better since. Hudson and Medlen are great, though still have doubts about Medlen. Kawakami is to good to pitch as bad as he did. Gosh, I despise Derek Lowe. That huge contract, he's that bad, wish we traded him for anything in the offseason

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